Monday, September 7, 2009

Speak Off the Cuff

I went to the KL Advanced Toastmasters Club meeting today, and did assignment # 1: Speak Off the Cuff from the Specialty Speeches series. My evaluator was John Gicquel, and he had written the five topics onto neatly-folded slips of paper. Just before I was called to speak, I was asked to pick one of these slips – and the ‘chosen’ topic was “What is Strategy?” not exactly a subject I had wished for. In any case, I had done some research on this topic, so I really didn’t encounter any problem(s). Besides, this is not really an unfamiliar subject for me. John gave me good marks, saying that my confident delivery and fact-laden content gave him the impression that it was a prepared speech, rather than an impromptu one. Overall, it was a good speech, but as always, there were pointers for improvement – this time, there were three things I had to watch out for: clasped hands at the start of my speech, my positioning, and I was speaking a little too fast, at least according to Lorna Fisher.

Like all advanced Clubs, there is an open evaluation session, and it was heartening to note that members were happily giving useful feedback. I like the fact that this club requires all members to take their Toastmasters oath at the onset of the meeting, and the other thing that is different (from the other Clubs that I have visited thus far) is the inclusion of poetry reading/interpretation – today, it was a ‘fun’ poem (about "dogs disco-ing in the doghouse") read by ACG CL Bill Sim, the Club President. I must thank Lorna and Chase (and of course, the Club too) for giving me this chance to speak this evening. And yes, I would like to return to this Club for I have enjoyed the meeting today. I really did!

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